AILA Quicktake #296: AILA Files Lawsuit Against DOL’s Prevailing Wage Rule

AILA and partners filed a lawsuit challenging DOL’s new rule changing prevailing wage determinations. AILA’s Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless explains why we’re litigating against this rule, which significantly increases the prevailing wages without allowing public notice or comment.

Video Transcript

I’m here today to talk about AILA’s latest effort to litigate against the administration's policies restricting visas for foreign national workers.

In the last couple weeks, we've seen two separate rules directed at the reduction of specifically those seeking or dependent upon H-1B visas.

Department of Labor issued a rule that has dramatically increased the wages paid for H-1Bs, H-1B1s, E-3s, EB-2s, and EB-3s.

In some cases, over 18,000 jobs now have zero prevailing wage or access to wage data. Many of these 18,000 jobs are for entry-level positions and have defaulted to what is now a $208,000 prevailing wage.

That's not right and AILA is taking the effort to litigate against the rule. And we are joined by our Board of Governors’ members Jeff Joseph who's also on executive committee, Chuck Kuck former past president, and Greg Siskind.

We will set aside the rule because the agency did not follow notice and comment rulemaking when it issued the rule. It made the rule effective upon publication on October 8th without notice.

And our plaintiffs who represent a cross-section of industries from academic institutions to care associations to those in the tech field have all felt the immediate harm from

number one, not having the opportunity to participate in the process and number two, from having to figure out just how it can comply with wages that have gone up somewhere between 24 and 50% overnight.

Because the substance of the rule is irrational as it's currently stated and it's, we'll see if they change their mind, but as it's currently stated this will not help any workers U.S. or foreign national. It will hurt the economy. It will limit our economic recovery.

Now, let me tell you what we're not doing and what others are.

There is also a proposed regulation that will be made effective in December. That is a rule that is being proposed by DHS. They're going to try to change what it means to have a specialty occupation, the employer employee relationship, and the ability for those to work and sponsor someone who will be at a third-party placement. It will be litigated at least once, if not twice in two separate lawsuits, but that is not the tenor of this.

Our job right now is to take the first fire that is blazing and that is DOL's wage rule. We'll come back to you when we know more and when we achieve more so that you can know that AILA has leaned into this litigation.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20102036.